10 Signs of a “Sleepy” Organization

In today’s business environment it is rare to find a product or service that is truly unique. Even if a company can develop a way to deliver its product or service that differentiates it from the competition, most of the time there is no legal means to prevent others from copying the method, and the advantage goes away quickly. So, the only two ways to truly differentiate your business from your competition is through your people and your company’s culture.

I want to talk about people because so many leaders give this topic lip service but do little to master the issue of building an outstanding team from top to bottom.

Most leaders say they only want to hire top people. They say they will not accept mediocrity on their team. They say they have pride in the people who work for them. How do I know this is merely lip service? I see these signs present in their companies:

  1. People doing the work of others because those others do not do their job well.
  2. Positions created to fit an existing employee instead of finding the right employee to fit a position created to fit the company’s strategy.
  3. Management tolerating the same mistake by an individual over and over again.
  4. Constant complaints by co-workers about a particular employee?
  5. People waiting around to be told what to do rather than figuring it out themselves.
  6. Little innovation in each position.
  7. High turnover in certain key positions.
  8. Higher overall turnover than one’s best-in-class competitors.
  9. Management spending more time “doing” instead of coaching, mentoring, recruiting, and holding people accountable.
  10. Little or no turnover in the company – an employee’s job is theirs forever no matter how they perform.

These problems result in lost revenue, increased costs, and lower margins. Many times leaders are under the misconception that they do not have a choice, that this is the only way they can do business. Ironically, they find it more comfortable to deal with the issues I’ve described and their consequences than to learn how to build the right organizational structure, define positions better, and be smarter about hiring. By taking the time up front to do it right, they would grow faster, have more time, reduce costs, and expand margins. Instead, they choose what is comfortable.

Howard Shore is a business growth expert that works with companies and people that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at 305.722.7213 or shoreh@activategroupinc.com .